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tv   MSNBC Live  MSNBC  February 23, 2012 11:00am-12:00pm EST

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today. we have begin with the republican throwdown in mesa. with five days to go, the gop presidential candidates faced off in a debate full of jabs and jest. right now mitt romney is hoping to capitalize on what most are describing as a strong debate performance. speaking this hour in arizona, where he's holding on to a lead in the polls. santorum staying on the defensive while newt gingrich scored some points with the conservative crowd as the issue turned to contraception. >> -- believes in birth control and if not why? >> i just want to point out you did not once in the 2008 campaign. not once did anybody in the elite media ask why barack obama voted in favor of legalizing. if we're going to have a debate about who the extremists is on these issues, it's president obama. >> bottom line, we have a problem in this country and the
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family is fracturing. over 40% of children in america are born out of wedlock. how can a country survive if children are being raised in homes where it's so much harder to succeed economically? >> joining me here in washington, national political editor of the a.p. and msnbc political analyst richard wolf. guys, thanks so much for being here. >> thanks, luke. >> i want to start off with rick santorum last night. obviously he was coming in as perhaps the favorite, perhaps the front-runner. but he really got bogged down about earmarks. listen to how mitt romney attacked him on that. >> yes, governor, you balanced the budget for four years, you have a constitutional requirement to balance the budget for four years. michael dukakis balanced the budget for ten years -- >> i would put a ban on earmarks, i think it opens the door to excessive spending. he voted for the bridge to nowhere. while i was fighting to save the
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olympi olympics, you were fighting to save the bridge to nowhere. >> that seems to be the sound bite of the night. while i was fighting to save the olympics, you were fighting to save the bridge to nowhere. >> rick santorum having an awful difficult time explaining his support for earmarks while he was a member of congress. didn't do too well. >> this is one of his vulnerabilities, he goes out on the campaign trail and says i'm all for -- i'm a fiscal conservative, i'm the only true conservative in the race, but when you look in his record, he's got some glaring issues when it comes to that argument. at the same time, you know, he's really trying to shed this idea he was an insider. this electorate wants an outsider. and his candidacy has been about the insurgency within the gop electorate. and now he's blasting into senate speak, right, and this long-winded explanation that most americans are looking at -- >> especially in the gop
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primary. >> exactly. >> i cannot believe he was so badly prepared for this attack. because mitt romney has been rehearsing this on air and on the stump for days if not weeks now. so there was a line he could've taken and ironically it came from ron paul, the earmarks are some restraint on executive power and this is about taking power back in the hands of the people. >> he didn't use that line. he went way down the rabbit hole. but here on earmarks, a big missed opportunity for him. >> another person who is attacking rick santorum besides mitt romney is ron paul. look at this exchange last night ron paul versus rick santorum. >> but particularly this week senator santorum you have a new television ad that labels him a fake. why? >> because he's a fake. >> unreal. >> i find it really fascinating that when people are running for office, they're really fiscally conservative. when they're in office, they do
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something different. >> richard, this seems to be a budding bromance between ron paul and mitt romney. where did it come from this tag team on rick santorum? >> we know they have been nurturing this thing for a long time. there's been a sharing of facilities of same homes and airplanes and all the rest of it. politics is personal. it does make a difference. and we're seeing it play out here. what ron paul's game is i don't think anyone has got their arms around. is it about his son, is it a legacy question? is he looking for a job? that isn't clear. that's perplexing, but the personal touch makes a difference. >> i think what ron paul is doing is wanting to be seen as legitimate within the republican party, right? and so it's not just that he personally likes mitt romney, their wives are friends, they've come to know each other. they went to the shared experience 2008 campaign together. but it's also that, you know, perhaps ron paul sees the writing on the wall that romney arguably still could be in the best position to win the gop nomination and could then help
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legitimatize ron paul's views as being part of the republican party and not outside of the mainstream. >> ron paul the ultimate outsider coddles the establishment when he sees it is beneficial to the future political career and perhaps his son. thanks so much for joining us today. we appreciate it. developing right now on msnbc, the fight over contraception once again taking center stage on capitol hill. democrats convene their own hearing on birth control, their sole witness, georgetown law student sandra fluke who was barred by darrell issa from testifying last week. his all-male panel came under heavy fire from democrats. today sandra fluke finally made her case. >> on a daily basis, i hear from yet another woman from georgetown or another school or who works for a religiously affiliated employer. and they tell me that they have suffered financially, emotionally, and medically because of this lack of
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coverage. >> joining us this morning from washington is our nbc capitol hill correspondent kelly o'donnell. my colleague down there. the hearing just wrapped up, kelly, what were the democrats trying to perpetuate to the american people? >> well, this was a real opportunity for democrats to create an event that shines a light on an issue they have been hammering away at for days now. and it's an issue that according to public polls, they have an upper hand. so nancy pelosi and a couple of other democrats on the committee created this event to allow the georgetown law student to come and testify. and it was not the typical event we normally see in terms of the every day hearing. there was applause here, there was praise for her, and she did have a chance to really put into words concerns the democrats really felt wither not addressed when republican darrell issa had his hearings and what he perceived as a problem with
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religious freedom. so sandra fluke talked about the health concerns that some women have that are not directly related to birth control, but other medical issues in which contraception is prescribed as a way to treat that. and talked about the financial implications and it was really important for her to have a moment, democrats say because she'd not been able to before. to give you a sense of what was in that room, luke. >> the purpose of this meeting is one that i wish didn't exist. >> in my opinion, the chairman committed a massive injustice by trying to pretend that the views of millions of women across the country are irrelevant to this debate. >> and the all-male panel from last week was the real focus that got this going. and ironically today nancy pelosi said she ought to thank chairman issa for not allowing
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sandra fluke to testify at that earlier hearing because it created a political moment and shined a light on these issues. so in some ways what was last week's sort of perceived injustice and an angering moment beme today a real moment for women's issues and democratic point of view on this to have its day in the sun. luke? >> some fiery rhetoric going on on capitol hill. thanks so much, we appreciate it. coming up, georgetown college student sandra fluke will join us live to talk about her testimony today. maryland congressman steny hoyer joins me now live in new york. and congressman, good to see you, thanks so much for being on the show. >> good to be with you, luke. thanks very much. >> number one, this hearing, it wasn't an official capitol hill hearing per se. what are the politics behind this? are you guys having a hearing like this today in order to try to stretch the issue out during a recess week. you've had republicans on a defensive last week when issa
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wouldn't allow the panel. how much of this is politics? >> i think that everything we do in some sense is politics in the best sense of educating people of informing them, of giving them the different viewpoints that are being represented on cal hill. and i think here we have a purpose example of the republican chairman of the committee wanted to shut out a particular perspective that sandra represents. and in fact, i believe the overwhelming majority of americans support. so what is going on today is an opportunity to give that perspective, which was censored and shut out last week an opportunity to be heard by the american public so they can draw their own conclusions, which is what we ought to be doing in a democracy. to that extent, certainly, that's politics of america. it is certainly not partisan in the sense that this issue, i think, enjoys overwhelming support among republicans, independents, and democrats in terms of making sure that a woman has the option and to
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ensure her own health and she has the ability to get coverage for a needed health issue. >> how much does talking about contraception social issues do you believe help you in trying to win those 25 seats you need to claim the majority. is this a good topic ultimately thought to be about the economy. do you think contraception could play a huge role in these if these issues come back? >> i think the republicans have had to use issues to distract the economic issues they pursue which are not good for average working men and women across this land. and i think the democrats need to be focused and we are focused on the creation of jobs. >> today there was a hearing about contraception. on a recess week. >> yes, that's correct. and i'm up in new york right now talking about jobs. and literally hundreds of democratic members around this
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country talking about jobs. we just passed a bill last week that the republicans opposed for a long period of time, ultimately supported which is designed to spur the economy, to give average working americans continuation of their tax debts so they'll have $1,000 extra in their pockets, make sure the unemployed don't get left behind and make sure docs are available to serve seniors. so that has been a great focus over the last three months. so this issue came up. it's an issue that's an important issue for women's health and ought to be addressed. and that's what's being done today. there'll be issues that come up. but the continuing, ongoing focus of our party and of our country and our president, is how we grow the economy, create jobs, make sure the american dream is available for our people and then we expand, not contract the middle class. >> another issue that is very prevalent for you, the issue of
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gay marriage, obviously it's moving forward through some capacity in the state of maryland. and i want yo you u to react. >> let's have the president of the united states show some courage, come on this program. look into the camera like i'm looking into the camera and state his position. he won't because he wants to have it both ways. >> what's your response to governor christie? and what do you see is the path way forward? >> i think the president's response would be maryland has chosen to move forward on this path and that's a proper path for them to pursue if that's what the legislation wants to do. i think, frankly, the president would applaud the maryland legislature for having the courage to move forward and say we're going to treat all of our citizens equally. so i think that would be the president's response to governor christie. this is an issue that the maryland legislature has dealt with. i think the senate's going to pass it, and i think, as well,
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it'll be put to referendum and the people have an opportunity to vote on it. >> congressman steny hoyer, thank you so much for the time. year of the turtle, my friend. >> they did the other night. breaking news, tensions rising in afghanistan over an accidental burning of the koran, two americans dead and an apology from the president. plus, politics at the pump. gas prices jump more than 3 cents overnight to an average of $3.61. does the president have a solution as he heads to florida today? the best approach to food is to keep it whole for better nutrition. that's what they do with great grains cereal. they steam and bake the actual whole grain while the other guy's flake is more processed. mmm. great grains. the whole whole grain cereal.
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defense officials tell nbc news that seven u.s. marines were killed when their two helicopters collided during a training exercise last night near the arizona/california border. the cause of the crash is under investigation. the identity of the seven marines killed have not been
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released. their next of kin must be formally notified first. there were no survivors. breaking news this morning. president obama is apologizing to afghan president hamid karzai and the people of afghanistan over koran burnings that sparked a rash of deadly protests around the country. president obama expressed a "deep regret" for an incident of which koran books were burned in a military base in afghanistan. in the meantime, two u.s. soldiers were killed today in a shootout with protesters angry about those burnings. i'm joined now by the editor for "time" magazine. thanks so much for coming on the show today. we appreciate it. what does this apology by the president really mean for the future of the u.s. relationship with afghanistan? it's a pretty significant gesture by president obama to do this. how will it resinate within the country? >> well, it's a huge gesture from the president. as we say, the president of the united states does not routinely
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apologize. there are not many instances going throughout history when the american president has apologized for anything. so it is a huge gesture from the white house. whether or not it'll be perceived as such in afghanistan is a whole other thing. a great deal will depend on how president karzai then transmits the message to his people. tomorrow, friday morning prayers, that will be crucial whether preachers across the country decide to take up this issue of the burning of the koran and raise the temperature or try to calm people down. that will be crucial, i think. >> bobby, what do you expect karzai's reaction to be? does he have a lot of sway anymore in afghanistan? can he say this is a legitimate apology, it means something coming from this superpower? >> well, his sway is declining all the time. so -- and we have to keep in mind that a lot of these
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protests although they were sparked off by the koran burning incident were actually similar m symptommatic of pent up frustration. he does not have a lot of sway, but there is a substantial government infrastructure. there is a large government media outreach, television programming, radio, and so on. ask the message can be sent across. the crucial thing is how the preachers in every mosque across the country tomorrow how they decide to play this. >> we'll be looking at that tomorrow morning. bobby ghosh for "time" magazine, thank you so much for joining us. >> any time. a united nations report is accusing the syrian government of "gross human rights violations" that killed two western journalists in a heavy shelling attack. the veteran war reporter marie co colvin was among those killed giving her report to the bbc
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director. thanks so much for being on the show. >> thanks so much for having me. >> for all intents and purposes, looks like mitt romney is best suited to be the gop nominee. i want you to react to what he said last night at the debate about arizona's immigration policy. we're going to play the clip right now. >> the right course for america is to drop these lawsuits against arizona and other states that are trying to do the job barack obama isn't doing. i'll also make sure we have enough border patrol agents to secure the fence and make sure we require employers to check the documents of workers and to check e-verify. you do that, and just as arizona is finding out, you can stop illegal immigration. it's time we finally did it. >> is this a good idea for the republican party in the name of latino outreach? for the front runner to double down on arizona's approach to immigration? >> well, it's clearly an important issue. something that hits to the heart
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of all hispanics in this country. the number one issue in this election's going to be the economy. poll after poll shows it's the number one issue. and i think going to election day, that's one thing they're going to care about. >> you don't think it's problematic he would be supportive of the immigration policy within the latino community? >> i think it's important of a candidate's talk. i can't support -- as the republican party, we're looking at all the nominees and until we have a nominee, you know, we're trying to figure out what exactly their policy's going to be. it's important we talk about immigration. it's important we talk about solutions. this administration has not talked about it. president obama avoided this issue a issue. saying his first few years he was going to address this issue. you know, we're almost at the end of his term. he has done nothing about immigration. and what we're seeing is now
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nominees talking about it. you're asked about the latino vote and what's going to drive them to the polls and make the biggest decision is going to be the economy. >> one thing we have up here is a poll i want you to see. barack obama has 67% of latino voters to mitt romney's 25%. you just said barack obama has failed on immigration, is failing on the economy, why are the latinos supporting him almost 3 to 1? >> well, right now it's early in the election. i know you and i both know that in the next few months it's going to be a huge, you know, a lot of things can happen. and there's a lot of, you know, republican candidates are not -- are just starting a lot of their outreach to the hispanic community. but what we do see just about barack obama support, it has dropped significantly. if you compare his first year in office to now, his support is
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under water, and a lot of these key states florida, arizona, where the debate was yesterday. he has a very big uphill climb with the latino vote. >> thank you so much for joining us. we appreciate it. >> thank you so much. one word to describe all of the candidates. can you guess which word they chose last night at the debate? plus, republicans dial it back, way back on that controversial ultrasound bill in virginia. why the state's governor dropped his support at the very last minute. also, who needs offshore and swiss bank accounts when you can hide your money right here in the united states. wait. ♪ it's morning in the himalayas... [ male announcer ] it's sweet. it's nutty. it's absolutely delicious. kellogg's crunchy nut. it's morning somewhere.
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>> mitt romney this morning getting in one more dig on rick santorum's debate performance last night. that was filled with nasty clashes between romney and santorum. but the candidates also got a chance to give a one-word answer on who they really are. >> please define yourself using one word and one word only. congressman paul? >> consistent. >> senator santorum? >> courage. >> senator? >> resolute. >> mr. speaker? >> cheerful. >> the candidates are spread out across the country today while romney courts arizona voters ahead of tuesday's primary. santorum tries to build on a growing lead with texas republicans and newt gingrich is looking ahead, visiting voters in washington state and idaho. ron paul has no public event. meanwhile, a former
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presidential candidate weighed in this morning on the possibility of a third party candidate entering the general election fight. >> i think we're going to have problems politically until we get some sort of third party movement or some alternative voice out there that can put forward new ideas. that ain't going to be me, by the way. i know the next question. i'm not interested in that. >> interesting from romney supporter jon huntsman on "morning joe." he still contends that romney is the best candidate for the problems that are facing the country. votes, cash, gas, and energy, four big topics on president obama's checklist as he wings his way to florida this hour. this is the 14th time the president's been to the sunshine state since taking office. but today's trip, his second this year comes as even his administration grapple with a political conundrum. a rise in both approval numbers and prices at the pump. the average u.s. cost per gallon
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of gas closing in on $4. nbc's white house correspondent at the white house and joins me now on a beautiful day in washington, d.c. >> it certainly is. >> what is president obama really trying to sell down there in florida today? >> reporter: well, i think he's trying to head off imminent political criticism. you talked about the price of gas $3.61 today, it was $3.57 yesterday, last year at this time was $3.17. this is a problem, could be a problem as gas prices are continuing to rise into that stable summer driving season, it's starting really early this year and has a lot of democrats concerned about a political issue not to mention the millions of americans who are going to be paying more at the pump. it's sort of a bittered irony for the president as the green shoots are appearing in the economy, as the holy grail of consumer confidence goes up. the one thing that could blow it up, rising gas prices heading up toward $4 a gallon. perhaps some experts are calling
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it to be above that come june and july, luke. >> mike, the president releasing some new ads recently, or at least the super pac attached to them. what do we know -- i want to play these and what do we know about them? >> the message was clear. >> let detroit go bankrupt. bankrupt, bankrupt. >> mitt romney, there's little question he made a fortune from businesses he helped destroy. >> bankrupt, bankrupt, bankrupt -- >> romney pocketed huge fees shortly before companies collapsed. >> bankrupt. >> you see those that are right there, vick. what -- is that going to be what we're hearing now from the president as we close in close to the general election day? is it time for them to go on the offensive? >> reporter: well, it's interesting they're making this play in michigan. there was also an ad from the obama campaign called "made in america" where anyone mentioned in passing and it was just a picture was mitt romney talking about the auto bailout saving 1 million jobs. all four of those candidates on
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that stage of that cnn debate, luke, said the bailout was a bad idea. most michigan voters feel otherwise, so the president getting an oar in the water while voters are paying attention to the republican primary. very interesting. >> nbc white house correspondent mike viqueira, thank you, sir, enjoy that sunshine. >> i will. stay tuned, we'll have live coverage of president obama's remarks on the economy at 2:25 p.m. eastern right now here on msnbc. that'll be in the great tamron hall's hour. don't want to miss that. when you think about money laundering, though, or tax evasion, you might think of places like the cayman islands or panama. but turns out one of the best places for foreign internationals to set up shell corporations is right here in the good usa. in a new documentary, you'll meet a most unlikely character who has a hand in creating these corporations for potentially
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precarious interests. scott, tell me about this. what exactly did you find here on your investigation? >> well, the u.s. is one of the only countries that will allow you to create a shell corporation and just about any state and not say who's behind it. but critics say this is a big loophole and anti-money laundering provisions, it's big business in states like nevada where we found a guy named robert harris who does this for a living. he has 2,400 nevada corporations registered in his house and he'll set up yours, as well, pretty much no questions asked. >> i don't do any investigative work on the people. if they want to send money, i take your business. >> so if a terrorist wanted to launder money, set up a shell corporation in nevada -- >> i would report them in a heartbeat. >> how would you know? >> if i know. >> and i was reading on your website, corporation wise, there is no better way to cloak your
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assets from public view other than to remove them from the country. what do you mean? >> it doesn't say that. >> it does say that. reading off your website. >> can i just have a minute? >> sure. >> okay. >> that's a typo. >> it's a typo. >> yeah. >> we will meet robert harris tonight in our original documentary. we don't know if anybody is laundering dirty money through him, but we will find a lot of characters that people say are using the u.s. system to become filthy rich. >> it's a typo. cnbc correspondent scott cohen, we appreciate you coming on. 9:00 tonight, filthy rich, you get your dvr and watch, it'll be great. here's a look at other stories topping the news now. a former university virginia lacrosse player has been convicted of second-degree murder and the brutal death of
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his ex-girlfriend after nine hours of deliberations, he was found guilty is now facing up to 26 years in prison. the victim, 22-year-old yardley love found dead in her apartment of blunt force trauma back on the campus of university of virginia. manning accused of giving hundreds of thousands of classified documents to the website wikileaks will be formally charged later today at ft. mead in maryland expected to be arraigned on charges like aiding the enemy. he could be sentenced to life in prison. and an 8-year-old girl in washington state is in critical condition today after being shot in the abdomen. police say a gun in her classmate's backpack accidentally discharged wounding the young girl. investigators are trying to determine how the 9-year-old boy got the gun and why he brought it to school. plus in alabama say a 9-year-old girl is dead today after being forced to run for three hours straight because she
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lied about eating candy bars. the severely dehydrated girl had a fatal seizure. her death was ruled a homicide. the girl's mother and grandmother are facing murder charges. developing now from the ohio valley through the southeast, severe thunderstorms and isolated tornadoes are in the forecast for more than a dozen states today. many of those same states are being told to expect a very busy tornado season this year. tornadoes in 2011 killed 550 people and caused over $10 billion in damage. talk about a courtship with chemistry. jeremy lin and carmelo anthony scoring mad as the knicks clipped the hawks 92-82 last night. lin-sanity with 17 points and nine assists, carmelo scored 15. we have to see how that matches up with lebron james and dwyane wade and the heat. and one fan is getting
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caught up in the hoopla. jordan turning his mug into a court side picture at the university of alabama. not a bad look for a freshman. well deserved. we like creativity among college kids. look at that mug. a face only a mother could love and now america coincidentally. we'll be right back.
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ask if nexium is right for you. if you can't afford your medication, astrazeneca may be able to help. fantastic! [ man ] pro-gresso they fit! okay-y... okay??? i've been eating progresso and now my favorite old jeans...fit. okay is there a woman i can talk to? [ male announcer ] progresso. 40 soups 100 calories or less. virginia's governor and state legislature is back pedaling from a mandate that would've required women seeking an abortion to have an invasive ultrasound. bob mcdonnell is pushing an amended bill that would mandate a standard ultrasound and an invasive ultrasound would be voluntary. mcdonnell's office issued a statement saying in part, "mandating an invasive procedure is not a proper role for the state. no person should be directed to undergo an invasive procedure by the state without their consent as a precondition to another
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medical procedure." joining us this morning from virginia, state representative charnell herring. thanks so much for joining us, guys. >> thank you. >> i'd like to start out with anita. can you give me a state of play here? what happened as the bill seemed to be expedited to be signed by governor mcdonnell and an abrupt switch that happened yesterday. what happened? >> right, the house and senate had both passed versions of the bill in recent weeks and there had been some uproar, but not as much as the last couple of weeks when the governor and i think a lot of legislators and activists, lobbyists realized that the procedure that has to happen in the first trimester generally is an invasive procedure as you said. and not the one that sort of everyone kind of thinks about, the abdominal ultrasound. and the governor had been thinking about it for the last week or so and changed his tune. he said he would sign it and starting saturday he would review it. and yesterday, after some meetings with some folks, he
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sent out or asked for the amendment to be introduced that basically said exactly what you said. it would be voluntary, the internal examine, that there would still be ultrasound required. >> representative herring, you said the original procedure was akin to rape. where is this new procedure you feel? is it still a sex crime in a sense that it's so invasive? >> well, i think it's just still a mandate. and that's the problem. and actually mandating an unnecessary procedure. and that's the problem. when legislators start to practice medicine, they don't know what they're doing. let me tell you, when you do an abdominal ultrasound in the early stages of pregnancy, it's not necessary because you're not going to get anything. you're not going to be able to detect anything and that's why you do the invasive procedure is sometimes used. but still governor mcdonnell is imposing a mandate and walking into doctors offices and telling
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a doctor what procedure he should do and it's an improper role of government. >> nancy pelosi said the following with rachel maddow about the issue of contraception and abortion. i'd like to play that and get your thoughts at the end. >> this is something personal with women as sort of a sisterhood. women know this is not the place that public policy should intrude. >> representative herring, was this policy really done back doors by all males on the republican side? that seems to be what some reports in virginia suggest. >> right, and i believe it was. i don't know if a woman was at the table. apparently the governor was part of it reworking the bill overnight. my concern is that no woman was probably present, no physician was probably present at all. and it's again in pushing an extreme right agenda on to the people of virginia and to women.
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governor mcdonnell is saying, women, i don't trust you to make your decision. i'm pushing a mandate into this bill. it doesn't make sense, it's not good for women, it's not good for doctors. >> anita, real quick, how much of this reversal do you think is based on bob mcdonnell's desire to possibly be vice president for governor romney. >> that's what everyone is saying. he's trying to strike a balance. we do not think it's a balance, but many people think he's trying to play it both ways. >> always interesting. th thank you so much for joining us. we appreciate your time. >> thank you. from birth control to burgers. it's now time for the political side bar. house minority leader nancy pelosi had a light hearted moment with stephen colbert about a moment on capitol hill. >> they are holding hearings in house representatives right now. about women's reproduction,
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okay? it's a bunch of guys up there. >> right. five guys. >> five guys. >> that would be all right for hamburgers, but not -- >> we'll talk with the democratic lone birth control witness sandra fluke in just a few minutes. up for a bet? odds are in romney's favor now for winning the republican nomination. giving him a 79.4%, up 7% from yesterday. santorum tanked from 60% down to 6.7%. and president obama now has a 60% chance of winning reelection. not sure about the odds on buddy roemer winning the white house. probably not very good. could have been the .02%, as a republican, the former louisiana governor is expected to drop out of the race for the gop nomination in about 15 minutes.
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he will instead try to run as -- if you remember this, jesse ventura, pat buchanan, the reform party candidate. the ratings have taken a huge hit since he released the controversial super bowl ad featuring an asian woman speaking broken english, that holds a 21% lead. hoekstra is hoping to receive support from herman cain. we'll all see that in november. wake up!
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one told of us how embarrassed and just powerless she felt when she was standing at the pharmacy counter and learned for the first time the contraception was not covered on her insurance and she had to turn and walk away. because she couldn't afford that prescription. >> that was georgetown university student sandra fluke, the woman you didn't hear from last week's house oversight hearing on contraception coverage. after being barred by chairman darrell issa, last week, she was the sole hearing today at a hearing called by democrats. sandra fluke joins me now. thanks so much for being here, sandra. i appreciate it. >> thank you for having me. >> so talk to me about why you were there today. you were obviously barred from
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the hearing last week. what were you really trying to get across to members of the democratic party there, nancy pelosi, elijah cummings, and miss moloney? >> well, i really wanted the members of congress and the public to hear the voices and the stories of the women who are affected by the lack of contraceptive coverage and how much this regulation means to all of us and to all of them. and i hope that's what came through in my testimony and i just really hope that people understand how very, very important this critical health care need is. >> one of your criticisms, you said, was that women's health was with being used as a political football, but this is a recess week in congress. this is a hearing by the democratic steering committee, really done for political reasons. do you feel like you yourself have been used as a political football in all of this? >> let me be clear, i don't feel like anyone has treated me as a political football. it was very discouraging to see women's health being treated that way previously, but i'm glad to see that america is paying attention to women's concerns at this point.
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and if you want to hold a hearing on a sidewalk outside, i'll show up to talk about women's health. so i don't think that the forum could be criticized in that way. >> talk about georgetown university. you're a third year law student, and this is something that i went to boston college and you see in a lot of catholic universities, is you have a large group of women who use birth control, want contraceptive coverage, but they're not able to easily access it by campus means. how much of that, do you think, though, is put upon the student? they knew they were going to a catholic university, or do you think it's a universal right to be had by all women? >> well, for starters, i want to clarify that women who attend these colleges and don't have insurance coverage can't get it on campus and can't get it off campus. so this is not just a campus issue. but beyond that, i was a woman who chose to go to the a jesuwit university and i did that because i thought they could offer me the best education
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possible. and that is a choice all women should have, not have to choose between their education and their health care. we deserve to have both. >> sandra fluke, you're very passionate. thank you so much for joining us this morning. we'll probably hear from you in the future, i suppose. good luck. >> thank you for having me. >> that wraps up things for this hour. i'll be back tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. eastern. thomas has a long weekend, which he always deserves, because he's the hardest working man on msnbc, or one of them, i put chuck todd first, but thomas, thanks for letting me have your hour, i really appreciate it. "now" with alex wagner is next. alex, take it away, my friend. what is this shorty? uh, tissues sir, i'm sick. you don't cough, you don't show defeat. give me your war face! raaah! [ male announcer ] halls. a pep talk in every drop.
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earn points you can use for travel on any airline, with no blackout dates. mitt romney is courting contractors in phoenix, rick santorum is raising cash in dallas, while nancy pelosi tackles birth control in washington, and president obama is apologizing to hamid karzai. it's thursday, february 23rd, d this is "now."

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